Enhancing graduate employability in product design: a case study exploring approaches taken on a BSc Product Design course

Watkins, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-3756-0437, Higginson, M. and Clarke, P., 2018. Enhancing graduate employability in product design: a case study exploring approaches taken on a BSc Product Design course. Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, 8 (1), pp. 80-93. ISSN 2042-3896

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Purpose – This paper presents a case study to discuss approaches taken within a traditional undergraduate degree course to embed employability skills, encourage student uptake of sandwich placement and increase graduate prospects. A number of new initiatives are presented, including working with live industrial clients, formally preparing students for placement applications and the introduction of an externally facing student run design consortium. Alongside these new initiatives, details of the existing sandwich year provision are also considered and their effectiveness.

Design/methodology/approach – A case study based action research approach presents changes to a specific undergraduate course, measuring the effectiveness over a 4-year period using externally collected national DLHE data and internal student feedback to assess the long-term effects on employability.

Findings – The paper considers improvements in the graduate employability over the 4 year period covered, in particular, an increase in the graduate employability from 81%-100% and graduate prospects from 62.5% to 95.2% for sandwich students. Data presented also considers additional student feedback correlating with an increase in their preparedness for employment.

Practical implications – The implications of undertaking the changes highlighted within this paper have been relatively straightforward, due to the small incremental nature of the changes and the opportunities available through the agencies within the university, and should be replicable at least in part at other HE institutions.

Originality/value – This paper considers the impact of employability initiatives undertaken on a single undergraduate course and how these have affected the employability of graduates over a 4-year period, supported by student feedback both internally and externally through national feedback mechanisms. It is anticipated that this research would be beneficial for informing and guiding the development of employability on other undergraduate programmes.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning
Creators: Watkins, M., Higginson, M. and Clarke, P.
Publisher: Emerald
Date: 2018
Volume: 8
Number: 1
ISSN: 2042-3896
Divisions: Schools > School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 05 Dec 2017 16:59
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2018 10:23
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/32145

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